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Does the Land Rover Discovery Sport make for a good lease vehicle?

We recently took one out for a test drive to see how it fared up against the old model. Here's how we got on...

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What did we drive? 

Colour: Eiger Grey 
Interior: Light Oyster/Ebony grained leather/Light Oyster stitch seats with Ebony/Light Oyster interior
Transmission: Automatic – All Wheel Drive
Model Line: R-DYNAMIC SE D240 Ingenium
Wheels: 19" 10 spoke, Satin Dark Grey
Engine: 2.0 litre Diesel 
0-60: 7.2 (5 seats) / 7.4 (5+2 seats)
Power: 240PS
Price: OTR from £31,575.00 Price of Model Driven: £48,220.00
CO2 g/km: 175 (from 140)

*Prices and model lines correct at the time of publication

Find out more about our best Land Rover Discovery Sport lease deals

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Engines

There are five powertrains available with the newest Discovery Sport; two petrol engines and three diesel options.

All of the diesel engines are 2.0L that produce 150bhp, 180bhp or 240bhp. Both petrol engines are also both 2.0L and you can choose between 200bhp and 250bhp.

The entry-level D150 can be a front-wheel-drive manual, but all of the other variants are purely available as all-wheel-drive automatics. The Discovery Sport is now also available with Land Rovers MHEV system – mild hybrid to you and me – which cuts fuel consumption and reduces emissions. We’re driving a high spec model at the top of the diesel lineup, which is a turbo-charged R-Dynamic SE D240.

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Design

The 2020 Discovery Sport might not at first glance look all too different from its predecessor, but it’s gone through a total revamp – starting with its platform, which it now shares with the much-loved Range Rover Evoque

There’s also a new grille, bumpers, headlights and LED taillights. Inside, the dash has had a complete re-design, again with elements taken from the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Velar. It has the same large 10-inch touchscreen; new gear selector and a plethora of high-quality materials that make the car feel really premium. If you want good looks from your next Land Rover lease, you won't be left feeling short-changed. 

This car had the two-tone upholstery in leather – but there are fabric and vegan options also available. Ours was also an R-Dynamic, so it got sportier styling inside and out, with finishes such as metal treadplates, sporty front and rear bumpers and titanium mesh finishes.

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The Experience

So, first and foremost, I found this car lovely to drive. My issue with the Evoque was that it felt quite small and restricting for the driver – the windows are high up and you feel encompassed in the car – something I know many like - but in my case it left me feeling slightly frustrated. The extra room awarded in the Discovery Sport is all I needed to erase that irritation. The driver’s seat is a very nice place to be and I'd happily get behind the wheel of this car again.

This car didn’t have the optional panoramic roof, but what it did have was two-tone contrast upholstery that made the entire car feel extremely bright and stylish. The handling was satisfying, and you weren’t burdened by the thought that you were driving a big car.

We did our standard test down the narrow Devon lanes, inevitably meeting several cars, but I wasn’t panicked when I had to reverse (or certainly no more panicked than anyone is when up against a farmer with places to be). The D240 is undoubtedly the cream of the crop and pulled brilliantly, but many would be more than happy with the smaller D180 for the perfect mix of a more economical drive with a satisfying amount of power. 

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If you want to use the car to go off-roading or to tow, it’ll pull a maximum of 2,500kg and wade anything up to 600mm. Depending on the spec you go for, you can also get really useful tech for difficult terrain with gadgets such as the clear sight mirror (transforms into a screen to show images from a camera on the rear of the car) and also ground view technology which shows you what is underneath the vehicle.

My only thought is that part of me would want to invest in some rubber floor mats if I was taking this car through the mud and water – it seems a shame to grub up the carpets!

Technology and Connectivity

Every single model in the line-up gets a 10” touchscreen display, and SE models and higher all get a digital driver's display. While lovely to look at, the centre display can be a bit difficult to use on the move. The icons are small and positioned right at the bottom of the screen so you can sometimes struggle to hit them on the first attempt. Not an issue while stationary, but something to consider when on the move. The heating controls are dual-function and allow you to switch between options such as fan speed and the all-terrain system - a nice touch that stops the whole thing from looking overcrowded.

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There are USB charging points for passengers in the back and our car had luxuries such as a heated steering wheel and wireless charging for compatible phones. As standard, this model had rain-sensing wipers, and all models in the line-up get a reversing camera.

This one had the standard sound system, but those who go for a HSE model will get the upgraded Meridian sound system. We’ve mentioned new LED head and tail lights, which all models get as standard, but SE models go one up with premium LED headlights that have the scrolling indications (think Audi) as well as an electric tailgate.

Space

The Discovery Sport has been optimised for more room and increased storage space. And most importantly, this car is a seven-seater – or a 5+2 as Land Rover describe it. And…as I can vouch for, it is suitable for five adults and two others... although those extra two need to be about half the size and height of yours truly… a *coughs* fairly average-sized woman of 5'4''. 

See the video of me attempting to navigate into the extra seats here.

With the two extra boot seats folded away, the boot space is a brilliant 1179 litres, but with the extra seats up, boot capacity is limited to 157 litres – so I guess the question is going to be whether you bring the kids or the luggage!

Forgetting about the extra seats for a moment, space for the rear passengers is very good with lots of head and legroom – and comfort. There’s also a centre armrest with storage and somewhere to put your drinks… or to put a bit of room between you and the other passenger! 

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Safety

The Discovery Sport received a five-star Euro NCAP rating and depending on which model line you go for, its driving features include all-terrain progress control, hill descent control, auto high beam assist, roll stability control, and hill launch assist. There are Isofix points in the two rear outer seats and the front passenger seat – so great for families with a few young children. 

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Model Lines

It's worth noting that the most basic of Discovery Sports is only available with the 150 diesel. Here's what you get standard in terms of kit:

  • Fabric upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • LED headlights
  • 10” touchscreen
  • Reversing camera

'S' models get: 

  • Electric front seats
  • Sat Nav
  • 18" Alloy Wheels

'SE' models get:

  • 19" Alloy Wheels
  • Digital dials
  • Electronic tailgate
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Blind spot Assist
  • Interactive drivers display

'HSE' models get: 

  • Clearsight rear-view mirror which transforms the mirror into a screen that displays a camera fitted to the rear of the car
  • Meridian sound system
  • 20" Alloy Wheels
  • Memory seats
  • Drive Pack - Adaptive cruise control, high speed emergency braking and blind spot assist.

Browse our best-selling Land Rover Discovery lease deals